As we develop this 31 Days to GTD for Homemakers series, we will learn how to renegotiate what we are going to do on the fly, creating a reliable intuition about what is “right” at that moment, in the current circumstance. GTD is a blending the proactive uber-planner with reactive spontaneity: the perfect productivity approach for a m
Previous Post: The Review Process
Mom’s Morning Review
Fundamental to your system being useful to you is the morning review.
Begin the day by looking at your calendar. You need to know what must happen today before you can figure out what should, could, or might happen today. Your calendar will tell you what time you will have available. Going out for a doctor’s appointment anyway? Can you get any other errands out of the way while you’re out? Is it your only day at home all week? What will you be preparing for dinner tonight ?
Your calendar shows you what the landscape of your day looks like so you can get an idea for what maneuvering you might need to do to get the essentials in; look at it or your written routines or schedule to try to find pockets of discretionary time you might miss if you just fly by the seat of your pants.
After you see the lines of your day on your calendar, give your next actions lists a glance. Remind yourself what you have going, check if you have deadlines coming up, and see if there’s one or two things you want to commit to getting done today.
If you have routine checklists or a daily schedule, perusing it for a minute in the morning might help keep them forefront in your mind so that you follow through throughout the day. If you homeschool, you might also want to see what you have lined up as school plans for the day, too, to help yourself mentally prepare.
Reviewing Throughout the Day
Keep your calendar and next actions lists highly visible throughout your day, so when you find yourself with a pocket of time, a quick glance will be all you need to latch on to something you can do to move things forward.
How much time should one spend looking at their lists? Allen answers:
As much time as needed to feel comfortable about what you’re doing. In actuality, it an accumulation of two seconds here, three seconds there. […] Assuming that you’ve completely collected, processed, and organized your stuff, you’ll most likely take only a few brief moments here and there to access your system for day-to-day reminders.
Looking at your lists doesn’t actually mean you must do something from it, it just means “you’ll evaluate them against the flow of other work coming at you to ensure that you make the best choices about what to deal with. You need to feel confident that you’re not missing anything critical.”
Your personal system and behaviors need to be established in such a way that you can see all the action options you need to see, when you need to see them. This is really just common sense, but few people actually have their processes and their organization honed to the point where they are as functional as they could be. When you have access to a phone and any discretionary time, you out to at least glance at the list of all the phone calls you need to make, and then either direct yourself to the best one to handle or give yourself permission to feel OK about not bothering with any of them.
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Next post: GTD for Homemakers: The Weekly Review